Estela

4.6
482 reviews
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$50 and over
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Contemporary American
In 2013, Thomas Carter and Ignacio Mattos took over the intimate space that once housed the Knitting Factory music venue and turned it into estela. Set above Houston Street, the lively restaurant serves a New-American menu, cooked with a personal approach that incorporates the many diverse experiences and cultures of New York City. There is a deep wine list, as well as a bar serving cocktails late into every evening.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Wine Bar
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Hours of operation
Lunch
Fri 11:30 am–3:00 pm
Brunch
Sat, Sun 11:30 am–3:00 pm
Dinner
Sun–Thu 5:30 pm–11:00pm
Fri, Sat 5:30 pm–11:30 pm
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Phone number
(212) 219-7693
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Ignacio Mattos
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Mulberry / Mott Sts.
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Public transit
B, D, F, M at Broadway-Lafayette St.; 6 at Bleecker St.
Additional
Bar Dining, Cocktails, Full Bar, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 482 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 1ambience 3

Service was nothing to write home about. At times rude. Host was very rude. Food was fantastic

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R
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fantastic! Sitting at the bar was so fun. Loved the entire meal, one of the best I’ve had out in awhile!

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WD
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Simple and wonderful seasonal plates that just get better and better. Add an eclectic and well curated wine list that perfectly matches the food and setting for an unbeatable combination. Prices are very reasonable. Book well in advance!

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OT
Charleston
12 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved it again. It’s a staple for us every trip to NYC!

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MA
London
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere, professional staff, superb food. Order 5-6 dishes for two.

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k
Baltimore
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

amazing meal!!

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v
Philadelphia
54 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing dinner! From the food, to our wonderful server, Fred and an energetic vibe, we had an outstanding dining experience. As delicious as the food was, Fred really enhanced our evening!

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MA
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The good: The food is fabulous and service is great!
The bad: Tables are so cramped next to each other that makes passing thru the tables to go to the bathroom such an ordeal.

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DR
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing! Every dish was a wonderful combination of flavor and texture. The incredible food was made even better by the outstanding service. We were greeted warmly by the hostess, our server was excellent and the sommelier selected a perfect bottle of wine after we gave a very open description of what we liked. Very memorable dining experience!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was fabulous. The food was elegant and delicious, the service was hospitable and informed...highly recommend! We went home with the cookbook...

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b
Tallahassee
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great tequila drinks, awesome shared plates, best general manager ever! A must!

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OT
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

We were asked six times if we were done, then were moved to a different table, then to the bar. After spending hundreds of dollars. There are too many restaurants in NYC with great food to go back here with this kind of truly awful service. Plus it was hella loud.

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SP
Portland
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

the best food combinations ever. The freshness of the food combined with how it was cut and the combinations of flavors was amazing . no one does a citrus dressing like Estella

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great experience. Food, service, and ambiance are among the best in the city. Table proximity Can work either way, but is fantastic if you are open to sharing experience, wine, etc with your neighbor tables.

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JG
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 2

Really good and innovative food. Good wine list but expensive. Super noisy so whilst I enjoyed the evening it's not a good choice for a quiet dinner or good catch up conversation

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AS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

In general, the food was on the salty side which took away from the more enticing and refined flavors that the fusion was trying to achieve. I also felt that some of the small plates required a little bit of bread to go with them. Having traveled through Europe a great deal, I don't understand the current obsession at trendy New York restaurants to skip on the bread option.
Overpriced but the service was excellent.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Food and ambiance were excellent. However, I got the vibe that they wanted us to move along.

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C
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Estela never disappoints. The egg and pancetta might be one of my favorite sandwiches. The burrata is also a must-get. At dinner, the clam/mussel crostini or whatever it is, is divine. Last time I went I got the lamb ribs and they were a highlight. In short, everything is good. They manage to make the best version of certain staples, sometimes adding the smallest of twists that makes it all perfect without depending on an over-the-top reinvention or weird ingredient.

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MB
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing dinner

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LN
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was very creative and delicious. Chef uses unique ingredients. Interesting wine list with
great variety from small producers. Cozy ambiance. Noise level is high.

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N
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had not visited Estela for well over a year and thought they brought the creativity up a notch. The buzz continues to be great, execution was excellent and several dishes, even in simplicity were really creative. Looking forward to our next visit.

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OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The mussels were amazing!

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a
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 3

Terrible experience today. Two people in my family have Celiac disease and cannot eat any foods with gluten. The chef refused to plate an egg sandwich without the bread.....only offering main entrees as an option. Whatever happened to customer service? Why would the chef not serve the entree without the bread if they didn't have a gluten free option available? We left within 15 minutes of arriving and will not be back. Why eat at this restaurant when there are so many better options so close?

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EB
5 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Heerlijk gegeten! Mooie gerechten, lekkere wijn. Bediening aardig en goede service. Akoestiek is niet zo, veel harde geluiden...

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DC
Toronto
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Tapas style restaurant, Excellent food all round Highly recommend the red shrimp and the pasta dishes.
Large selection of wine in wide price range. Server very knowledgeable in wine recommendations.
Thoroughly enjoyed the dinner.

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SB
New York Area
119 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Very good and interesting small plates for lunch. Nice casual atmosphere. Friendly professional service. Decent wine list. Very good value for money

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C
Los Angeles
23 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

LOVE everything about this place except for the banquette along one wall that puts diners several inches above their dinner companions who are sitting on regular chairs

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I
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional food and service!

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P
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous tasting menu for four or more, fine dining experience

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CC
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

I have never been to restaurant where you can only get the food you order in the order that it is listed on the menu. We had to watch my brother eat, and then we had to eat after him. It was ridiculous. The food was not all that good. It does not compare well to the best restaurants that I have been to in either NYC (Nougatine and Le Bernadin) or LA (Gjelina). Very disappointing overall.

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MA
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was my 4th time returning to Estela. I took my friend there for a get together and it was her first time. I told her that I’ve dreamt about their burrata and Panna cotta and she was impressed with both! We also ordered the wood ear mushrooms and the lamb ribs; the uni was very fresh, and the lamb (with the chutney) was juicy and flavorful. But really, the burrata is out of his world and remains my favorite!

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 4

Food was no good

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 1

Staff was rude and missed my girlfriends 25th birthday.

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b
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Love the quality and creative use of flavors with citrus notes. And small plates to encourage sharing snd trying new dishes/ingredients I may not be familiar with.

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K
Baltimore
35 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

When we travel to New York city, I love to try the local gems and Estela is definitely one such restaurant. They accommodated my husband dietary restriction very well and it became a pleasure to try their various unique dishes. We loved them all especially, the wood ear mushroom, seaweed, and uni. The combination worked very well and the uni gave it that sweet brine milky taste in the end. Of course their beef tartare had a different twist to it. They had a mixture of elderberries and sunchoke in it. Although delightful to my palate, I can't quite say it's your traditional beef tartare, but it was interesting! My husband had the monkfish with salt-baked cabbage. He loved it and found the salt-baked cabbage a nice twist to the dish. My steak with brussels sprouts, taleggio and anchovy was superb. Medium rare and juicy with the addition of a whole piece of anchovy on the plate was excellent! All in all, it was a fun casual place in the neighborhood. Clearly some regular locals were very well met. That is a nice touch to see. I can only imagine enjoying my Friday and Saturday evenings here after a long hard week of work. Alas, I'm just a tourist but one can always imagine.

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F
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best in town.

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CI
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An amazing vision that only gets better and better.

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JA
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

loved the food and vibe but were really disappointed in the choices of wine.

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KP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Very noisy, but excellent food and service. Interesting wine list.

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ED
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Went there for a date night last Tuesday. First interaction with the host was not the best, not rude but not welcoming at all. Drinks were really good I had the celery negroni and my wife had the one with pear and yuzu. Cocktails were the positive side of the visit. We ordered 4 food items from the menu, timing was terrible, food on our table took forever, the table next to us arrived later and received all the courses faster than us. The burrata, the ricotta dumplings and the pork were really good, the red shrimp was so so. We had the honey vinegar panacotta for dessert, we didn’t like it. One of the managers noticed that our food took for ever so she touched our table, that was kind. She was very nice and friendly and gave us 2 amaros by the end of the dinner. Nice touch. My wife and myself work in the food and beverage industry, it was a nice experience but we were expecting a little more. We might give another try, maybe for brunch.

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